Pakistan should focus on Africa for business promotion: Nigerian Envoy

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Pakistan should focus on Africa for business promotion: Nigerian Envoy

Ambassador Karmoune said that the outgoing high commissioner played key role in promoting relations between Nigeria and Pakistan.

DNA

Islamabad, OCT 27: Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) hosted a farewell reception in honor of Muhammad Bello Abioye High Commissioner of Nigeria to Pakistan at his home. Ambassador of Morocco H.E. Mohamed Karmoune, Ambassador of Ethiopia H.E. Jemal Beker Abdula, Ambassador of Algeria H.E. Brahim Romani, Ambassador of Somalia Mrs. Khadija Mohamed Almakhzoumi, Ambassador of Mauritius H.E. Rashidally Soobadar, Director General Foreign Affairs Shahid Ali Bhutto, Asif Luqman Qazi of Jamaat-e-Islami, Khalid Iqbal Malik Group Leader ICCI and many other dignitaries and notables of the city.

Speaking on the occasion, H.E Muhammad Bello Abioye High Commissioner of Nigeria said that Africa is being termed as the Continent of future by the trade experts and Pakistan should focus on it to promote its trade by developing close cooperation with Nigeria. He said that direct flights between Nigeria and Pakistan have the potential to make significant increases in bilateral trade. He said that Nigeria and Pakistan can cooperate in many sectors including transportation, tourism, trade & commerce, industry. He said that during his tenure in Pakistan, he had taken several steps to facilitate the exchange of information, foster business-to-business meetings, and implement a simplified visa policy to support the entrepreneurs. Visa applications have been processed within 48 hours over the past two years, streamlining the process for business-related travel. He thanked Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari President ICCI and Zafar Bakhtawari Secretary General UBG Pakistan for hosting a farewell reception in his honor and said that he has spent a very good time in Pakistan and would act as an Ambassador of Pakistan in future.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that Pakistan-Nigeria bilateral trade is just around US$ 114 million, which is quite low as compared to the actual potential of both countries. He stressed that Pakistan and Nigeria should accelerate efforts to increase bilateral trade at least up to US$ 3 billion in the next few years to achieve mutually beneficial results. He said that Pakistan can export many products to Nigeria and other African countries including textiles, rice, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, electrical appliances, processed food, cosmetic & beauty products, leather goods, IT products, financial services. He paid tribute to the services of H.E Muhammad Bello Abioye High Commissioner of Nigeria and hoped that he would play a role to promote business interests of Pakistan wherever he goes for his next assignment.

Dean of the African Group Ambassador of Morocco Mohammad Karmoune in his address lauded the services of the outgoing colleague and wished his best of luck. Ambassador Karmoune said that the outgoing high commissioner played key role in promoting relations between Nigeria and Pakistan.

Khalid Iqbal Malik Group Leader ICCI said that Pakistan and Nigeria are a combined market of about half a billion people and they can achieve much better results by developing close cooperation. He stressed for regular exchange of business delegations to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Zafar Bakhtawari, former President ICCI and Secretary General UBG Pakistan lauded the services of H.E Muhammad Bello Abioye High Commissioner of Nigeria who remained as an active Ambassador in Pakistan. He said that the direct flights between Pakistan and Nigeria can boost bilateral trade and urged that both countries should make all possible efforts to achieve this goal.